Cabano's Comfort Food
Cabano’s Comfort Food serves high quality but no-frills burgers and sandwiches out of a modernized Chicago-style shop.
Owner Kevin Boyd grew up eating at the likes of Johnny’s and Harry’s out in Scarborough, so he’s not trying to reinvent these products—just make them the best they can be. All meat is from a local Ontario butcher and never frozen, and all sandwiches are always served on buns delivered fresh that morning.
Boyd designed the functional but sleek 28-seat space with help of Evelyn Eshun, paying homage to the historic neighbourhood with faux exposed brick.
The Cabano Burger ($14) is made with two all-beef patties that are smashed on the flat top and cooked for about two minutes a side so they’re juicy, but develop a decently seared crust.
American cheese on the bottom for what according to Boyd is the ideal taste bud experience, the Cabano is topped with lettuce and onion. House pickled deep-fried jalapenos and a mustard-based Cabano sauce that contains the jalapeno pickling liquid take everything to the next level.
The fried chicken sandwich is a steal at $9, a thick piece of juicy white meat with a simple peppery flour batter topped with lettuce, mayo and crispy, acidic house pickles.
House sauce is served on the side which is apparently a Southern thing: I highly recommended dipping the excess chicken sticking out in some of the buffalo.
We combine the veal and eggplant sandwich at Boyd’s recommendation, both $13 on their own and battered in house, the eggplant in a light fish-and-chip-style and the veal in a simple breadcrumb.
Topped with all the fixings of mushrooms, onions, and crisp green peppers, the effect of the layering is a crispy, crunchy and familiar-tasting sandwich with just the right amount of sweet house tomato sauce, all on an appropriately puffy and floury bun.
Fries are $3, and you can add fries and a drink to any sammy for $5. These are brought in from outside supplier Bondi Produce, but they’re thick and crispy and well-seasoned with a little coarse salt.
They’re used for chili cheese fries ($8) heaped with a perfectly thin yet creamy and gooey house American cheese sauce and chili actually made with yesterday’s burger patties. Craveable, crushable, and definitely comforting.
Fudge bites are an extra for dessert at $3 individually and $15 for half a dozen, but you’ll likely only need one of these rich and incredibly dense and fudge bombs dusted with a spicy cayenne coating that lends a definite kick.
Cabano’s is the Seinfeld of restaurants in a way, in that it’s kind of a sandwich shop about nothing. There’s no lofty concept here, just tasty comfort food in a bun.